MFA Affordability and Funding
Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid
Tuition for the MFA in Creative Writing at Butler University is set at $820.00 per credit hour for the 2017–2018 school year. Allowing for small annual increases in tuition, a student entering the program in fall 2016 should expect tuition and fees for the degree to total roughly $29,500. A quick glance at the tuition costs for other MFAs shows that Butler is an extraordinary value, especially when one considers the high quality of our faculty and visitors, our small class sizes, and our auxiliary programming.
The MFA at Butler offers considerable funding to its students through a growing system of scholarships and stipends tied to service and professional development.
Efroymson Scholarships (2 per year): The Efroymson Family Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, sponsors the Efroymson Scholarships in Creative Writing. These scholarships are awarded to two out-of-state applicants who show great promise. The scholarship awards $5,000 per year for two years.
Ruth Lilly Service Scholarship (1 per year): Sponsored by the Writing in the Schools program, which is funded in part by the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation. This scholarship awards applicants with a proven record of community service and funds their continued service work through the MFA’s affiliate programs. The Service Scholar will enroll in EN455s, “Writing in the Schools,” in fall semester of her or his first year and will continue with an independent service project in the spring. The scholarship awards $3,000 per year for the first year, with the potential for additional funding and service opportunities during the student's second and third years in the program.
A variety of funding opportunities are available, some directly from the MFA program and many through our affiliate programs.
Section Editors (3 per year, hired by application): Three positions, one each in Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction. Editors manage the workflow of submissions to Booth. They assign work to their respective staffs, send out rejection letters, work toward a 60-day turnaround on all submissions, push the best work monthly to roundtable discussion, and take an active role in facilitating conversation at the roundtable meetings. Editor pay is on a sliding scale based on volume of work, between $1,000- $2,000.
Interns (as needed): Will work under the Editor and Assistant Editor in expanding Booth’s public presence in each respective arena. Pays $1,000.
Graduate Assistants (GAs) for EN 455-S, Writing In The Schools (1–3 per year): Assume a leadership role for on-site activities at Broad Ripple Magnet School, where the community-service course is based. GAs work with the WITS director to develop learning modules for an in-school literacy tutoring program at Broad Ripple for students who have yet to pass their End of Course Assessments. Additionally, GAs help run the after-school creative writing group and assist in the publication of a literary journal of Broad Ripple student work, both online and in print. GAs are paid between $1,200- $2,000 per semester. The WITS director hires GAs, and preference is given to students who have taken EN455-S or have previous WITS volunteer experience.
Publishing Coaches, Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School (1–2 per year): Publishing Coaches will work with Shortridge students and faculty to curate and design a print journal of Shortridge student writing, overseen by the WITS director. Publishing coaches should expect to set up weekly meetings with Shortridge students and to do some curatory and design work independently, usually between 4–5 hours per week. Pub Coaches must be able to work cooperatively with high school students and teachers. Previous design experience will be a big advantage. Experience on Booth and/or WITS may be preferred, but not required. Pays up to $1,500 depending on qualification and leadership roles.
Mentors (4 per year): Bridge Mentors work at our Writing Club, which meets once a month. Each mentor is responsible for planning and teaching creative writing lesson plans for an assigned age group (elementary, middle school, or high school). One floating mentor assists where needed. Writing Club serves local students grades 3–12. Mentors are paid $50 per session of Writing Club and are hired by the Bridge Program coordinator, with preference given to students with previous teaching experience and/or demonstrated skill working with children.
Teachers (varies by need): Bridge Teachers lead a one-time workshop for the Bridge audience. Workshops are two hours long and teach students about a topic of craft. Teaching positions are filled through a call out and proposal process and are paid half the profits generated from registration, at a minimum of $100. MFAs with previous teaching experience are preferred.
Assistant Coordinator (1 per year): The Assistant Coordinator is responsible for being present at all Writing Club sessions and one-time workshops, to serve as supervisor and program representative. The Bridge Assistant is responsible for marketing Bridge programs via face-to-face visits at local schools, on social media, and through email blasts using MailChimp. The Assistant takes attendance and collects registration fees at all Bridge events and reports directly to the Bridge Program Coordinator. Hired by the Bridge Program Coordinator, the Assistant is given a tuition waiver for one course, or paid the equivalent.
Teaching Fellows (8–10 per year): Funded directly by the MFA program, fellows shadow and assist instructors teaching undergraduate courses in First Year Seminar, or MFA faculty teaching Perspectives on the Creative Arts and creative writing courses in the English department. First year students are ineligible for fellowships, and positions are awarded first to MFAs who haven't yet served as a fellow. FYS Fellows are paired with a professor by the FYS director and are paid $1,200 per semester, serving for one year. PCA and creative writing fellows are also paid $1,200 per semester, with an appointment of one semester.
Graduate Tutors (varies by need): Grad tutors work in the Writers’ Studio, reporting directly to the Director of Peer Tutoring. Writing tutoring is provided to undergraduate students of all majors. The MFA director recommends MFA students to the Director of Peer Tutoring, who hires based on need. Tutors are paid $13/hour; hours-per-week are determined by the Director of Peer Tutoring.
Ambassador to New Students (1 per year): Funded directly by the MFA program, the Ambassador assists the MFA director with prospective and new student communication and campus visits. Duties include email correspondence, airport pick up/drop off, and organization of lunch/dinner for prospective or new students. The Ambassador also helps students relocating to Indy with their move; offering advice on living arrangements and helping on move-in day, and/or coordinating with other MFAs to assist in their place. This position is paid $750/semester. Preference is given to hometown students or students with substantial knowledge about Indianapolis and our affiliate programs. A car and welcoming personality are required.
MFA Program Blog Writer (1 ongoing position): Funded directly by the MFA program, our Blog Writer maintains our Wordpress blog. The blogger is responsible for producing 1 or 2 posts per week featuring the news and events of the MFA program, as well as maintaining all links to our affiliate programs. The blog writer is expected to have a high attendance at program events and to keep the pulse of the wider MFA community. The blog writing position is filled by application and is given a tuition waiver for one course per semester, or paid the equivalent.
Financial Aid is available to graduate students through Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Plus Loans, and private loan mechanisms. Graduate students must attend the MFA half-time (3 credit hours or more per semester) to be eligible (please consult with the Office of Financial Aid to confirm such details in your case). Loans are also available for summer study.
For information on health insurance options for Butler graduate students, please contact Butler University Health Services, 317-940-8728.